Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012 - ST 4512

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4512
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Dean Mayer (Anax)
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4512]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Date of Publication in the Vancouver Sun
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Falcon's Experience
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Times for the Times
This puzzle appears on the Sunday Puzzles pages in the Saturday, December 15, 2012 edition of The Ottawa Citizen.


As you can see from the chart above, I made very minimal progress before calling in the reinforcements to help with today's puzzle. Even with their assistance, it proved to be a challenging and mind-stretching exercise — but a lot of fun, nonetheless.

Notes on Today's Puzzle

This commentary should be read in conjunction with the full review at Times for the Times, to which a link is provided in the table above.


1a   Suit covered in salt sent back to be repaired (9)

6a   Dead fish all over lake (4)

8a   Poet’s house given to nation (6)

Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65 BC – 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace[7], was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus.

9a   End of bit coming down drill (8)

10a   Unknown form of organic nitrate (5,9)

11a   Supply lines for start of military exercise (6)

I learn from Dave Perry that the wordplay — which I completely failed to decipher — is PRO (for) + M (start [first letter] of Military) + PT (exercise; physical training).

13a   Get  a bargain (8)

15a   Road menace obviously gutted if trapped by strong drink (3,5)

Boy racer[5], is British slang for a youth or young man fond of driving very fast and aggressively in high-powered cars (i) the car is the dream of every boy racer; (ii) [as modifier] the company’s series of ‘boy-racer’ machines has proved highly successful.

17a   Chap, apparently owing money, put away (6)

This clue contains a rather devious cryptic crossword device. To solve the clue, one must first replace a phrase appearing in the clue with a phrase having the same meaning. Another term for "owing money" is 'in the red', making the phrase "apparently owing money"  equivalent to 'seen to be in the red'. Thus the wordplay is MAN (chap) contained in (seen to be in) RED.

19a   7 17 — he hurt me a lot? (5,3,6)

The numerals (7 and 17) are cross-references to other clues. To unveil the full clue, one must first solve the cross-referenced clues and then substitute the solutions to those clues in place of the cross-reference indicators. Thus this clue becomes:
  • Lunatic remand — he hurt me a lot? (5,3,6)
The wordplay is an anagram (lunatic) of REMAND HE HURT ME. The definition is "a lot?" with the question mark indicating that this is a definition by example — "a lot" (at an auction) being something that is UNDER THE HAMMER.

22a   Dictator, ultimately from animated cartoon (8)

23a   Natural part of black cherry (6)

24a   Sound from bolted shaft (4)

25a   Unite? Yes, and break up midweek (9)


1d   Chicken or duck in a roll (7)

In cricket, a duck[5] is a batsman’s score of nought [zero] ⇒ he was out for a duck. In cryptic crossword puzzles, duck is used to indicate the letter "O" based on the resemblance of the numeral "0" to this letter.

2d   Lead around locks (5)

Circa (abbreviation c. or ca)[5] is a Latin word that has been adopted into English. It is a preposition (often used preceding a date) meaning approximately [or around]the church was built circa 1860.

3d   Opening of cage after funny line — it’s a stiff! (9)

4d   Island? Oops! (1,5,9)

The definition is "Oops!" — something that one might say upon realizing that they had made a mistake. The wordplay is "island?" — where the question mark is crucial. It indicates that the solution is something that "island" might be. Had one initially misspelled this word as ISTAND, then ISLAND would be ISTAND CORRECTED.

5d   Relief for Australian when mounting copy (5)

I never did find the solution here, as I had never heard of this copying process and I was also convinced that we needed to find some obscure bit of Australian slang.

The wordplay is a reversal (when mounting; it being a down clue) of OZ (Australian) + AID (relief). I hate to reveal how much time I wasted scanning glossaries of Australian slang for a term meaning "relief".

Diazo[7] refers to a type of organic compound called diazo compound that has two linked nitrogen atoms (azo) as a terminal functional group. Diazo[5] (also diazotype) is also the name of a copying or colouring process using a diazo compound decomposed by ultraviolet light [as modifier] diazo printers. This process also goes by the names whiteprinting[7] or blue-line process [not to be confused with the blueprint process]. Whiteprinting [blue-lining] replaced the blueprint process in reproducing architect's and engineer's drawings, because the process was simpler, and involved fewer toxic chemicals. A blue-line print [whiteprint] is not permanent and will fade if exposed to light for weeks or months, but for many purposes a drawing print that lasts only a few months is sufficient.

6d   Problem at the address of sister’s house (9)

While I arrived at the correct solution, I had no idea why. The only piece that was clear to me was NUN (sister). As Dave Perry explains, "at the address of" is used to clue C/O (in care of) and drum[5] is British slang meaning a house or flat [apartment].

7d   Fifty nuts in a cut fruitcake (7)

L[5] is the Roman numeral for 50.

12d   The end of it is — in this (5,4)

14d   River mole in simple story (9)

16d   To have an object that the opposition may thank you for? (3,4)

In soccer, an own goal[5] is a goal scored when a player inadvertently strikes or deflects the ball into their own team’s goal. The term is also used informally in Britain to describe an act that unintentionally harms one’s own interests government scores own goal by assisting organized crime in London.

18d   9 November Surrey riots (7)

The numeral 9 is a cross-reference to clue 9a whose solution serves as the definition for this clue. November[5] is a code word representing the letter N, used in radio communication. I'm not sure whether the surface reading refers an actual instance of rioting in Surrey. A Google search was dominated by hits related to the involvement of individuals from Surrey, British Columbia in the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup riot[7].

20d   Light rug  put on floor (5)

21d   4 by turning into 7 (2,3)

Again we have a clue containing a pair of cross-reference indicators. Fleshed out, it becomes:
  • I stand corrected by turning into lunatic (2,3)
The definition is "I stand corrected" — with the solution being a slangy modern day version of something that might be said when one's error becomes evident. The wordplay is a reversal (turning ...) of BY contained in (... into) MAD (lunatic). The phrase "turning into" serves the dual purposes of reversal indicator and containment indicator (which is why I have inserted the ellipses).
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - (Collins English Dictionary)
[5]   - Oxford Dictionaries (Oxford Dictionary of English)
[6]   - Oxford Dictionaries (Oxford American Dictionary)
[7]   - Wikipedia
[8]   - Reverso Online Dictionary (Collins French-English Dictionary)
[9]   - Infoplease (Random House Unabridged Dictionary)
[10] - (Collins English Dictionary)
Signing off for this week — Falcon

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